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Beningbrough frosted spiced beetroot cake

Looking for a new idea for your beetroot harvest? Try this favourite from the Beningbrough walled garden restaurant. A twist on a passion fruit cake, this version contains grated beetroot and walnuts, topped with a caramel frosting.

  • 30 minutes prep. time
  • 24–30 minutes cooking time
  • Serves 8
  • Cakes, bakes & desserts
Close up of a slice of Beningbrough frosted spiced beetroot cake with frosting
A slice of the delicious Beningbrough frosted spiced beetroot cake | © National Trust/William Shaw


  • 250g chilled cooked beetroot, finely grated
  • 100g carrot, finely grated
  • 40g walnut pieces, chopped
  • 175ml vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger

For the frosting 

  • 175g cream cheese
  • 40g butter, at room temperature
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp walnut pieces, to decorate, if liked


Cook's tip for the frosting

If you don't feel confident about boiling sugar, you can make up the frosting by beating the cream cheese with the butter then stir in 115g icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to180°C (160°C fan/gas mark 5). Grease two 20cm sandwich tins with a little oil and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.

Step 2

Add the beetroot to a sieve and press out excess liquid with the back of a spoon, or use your hands (wear rubber gloves to prevent staining your hands). Then mix with the carrots and walnuts.

Step 3

Add the oil, eggs and caster sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 5 minutes until very light and fluffy (or beat by hand).


Step 4

Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a third bowl. Gently fold the beetroot mix into the whisked eggs, then fold in the dry ingredients.

Step 5

Spoon the cake mixture evenly into the tins and gently ease into an even layer, being careful not to knock out the air.

Step 6

Bake for 20–25 minutes until the cakes are well risen, golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes then loosen the edge and turn out onto a wire rack. Peel off the lining paper and leave to cool.

Step 7

To make the frosting

Whisk the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and water to a heavy-based pan and very gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Don't be tempted to stir or you may crystallise the syrup.

Step 8

Increase the heat and cook for 3–4 minutes until a golden caramel. Whisk into the cream cheese mixture in a thin, steady stream, then cool in the fridge until thick.

Step 9

To finish the cake, put one cake onto a serving plate, spread with half the frosting. Add the second cake and spread the rest of the frosting on top, then sprinkle with walnuts, if liked.

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